I don't know who Marie-Hélène is other than she has way too many strange letter/characters in her name that aren't on my keyboard. When I signed up for French Friday's with Dorie I knew I would be challenged in the kitchen to make amazing things outside my usual comfort zone but I had no idea I would also have to memorize an ascii table! Anyway, whoever she is she is Dorie's friend and I must say that Dorie describers her to sound remarkably alike my now legendary former acquaintance, Giselle. She who I have imagined might have cooked Gerard's Mustard Tart in her country house kitchen while sipping wine and never once looking at a recipe card. I had to laugh when Dorie revealed that her good friend Marie-Hélène doesn't cook with one either and doesn't even seem to know what she puts in her very own Apple Cake!
Can't you just see Giselle and Marie-Hélène strolling back through the streets of Paris after a day's worth of shopping at expensive clothing stores and picking up nick nacks at the flea market? Their usual custom was to stop at Fauchon for a box of macarons to take home and sip with strong cups of pressed coffee as they showed off and gloated about their purchases to each other. This time however, Marie-Hélène would suggest that instead she whip (from memory) up an apple cake! And what an apple cake it would be. Giselle would have to think up a non recipe pastry of her own the next time. After all, who could go to Fauchon again after this cake?
(Geesh. I have to stop writing posts when I'm hopped up on cold medicine. )
So here is to you Marie-Hélène! Your name gives me chuckles but you make one heck of an apple cake! I still wish I could casually throw together cakes and tarts without the benefit of a recipe but in the meantime, I'm glad to have Dorie's books for reference! This one will definitely get a replay and who knows? I might just get this one memorized!
As you know, we're not supposed to publish the recipes for FFWD but Ms. G has already leaked the recipe to Epicurious and they have posted it here. Leftovers make an amazing breakfast sweet with coffee by the way so don't let your guests take the extra slices home with them!